Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has won the U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
The Associated Press called the race at 9:10 p.m. CST. Less than 50% of votes had been counted, but Republican Tuberville had won over 61% of the vote.
Auburn Coach to U.S. Senator
Tuberville had refused to debate Jones in public and had limited his media interviews, Yahoo! Sports reported.
However, Tuberville did earn President Trump’s endorsement during the Republican primary against former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And he enjoys statewide celebrity in Alabama for his winning tenure at Auburn.
“Thank you, ALABAMA!” Tuberville tweeted. “We’ve got our United States Senate seat back!”
Hewing Close to Trump
Jones had a significant fundraising edge over Tuberville, raking in $4 million in cash on hand during the closing weeks of the campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported. That was more than twice what Tuberville raised.
Still, Jones also voted to impeach President Trump and against Amy Coney Barrett’s and Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Those were not popular positions in Alabama.
On the campaign trail, Jones had repeatedly lampooned Tuberville as “Coach Clueless.” Tuberville focused on pledges to “drain the swamp” and support President Trump in his campaign ads.
“The things the voters of Alabama know about Tommy Tuberville are that he used to coach Auburn’s football team and he will support President Trump’s agenda,” David Mowery, chairman of the Alabama-based Mowery Consulting Group, told Yahoo. “It’s a bet that Trumpism isn’t going away anytime soon.”
When asked by CNBC, Tuberville’s campaign declined to name one area where he differed with the president. But Trump maintained a double-digit lead over Joe Biden in Alabama in the weeks before the election, and that proved an effective strategy.
In 2016, Trump won the state of Alabama by more than 62% to Hillary Clinton’s 34%.